Category Archives: In the Diaspora

Heather Smith is the heroine of the Libertarian Disability Rights Movement


Please contribute $18 for the 2018 Campaign to Elect JoelSolkoff to Congress

By PayPal please contribute $18 to [email protected]

Home of Antaeus Mobility

What a difference a year makes









Defeat Rep. Tom Marino

In September 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Marino to serve as the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (“drug czar”).[15][1] In October, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) called on Trump to withdraw Marino’s nomination.[20]Trump said he would “look into” reports about Marino, putting his nomination in question.[21] On October 17, 2017, Marino withdrew his nomination.[2]





















Date: July 22, 2017 🎸 Live from: Croke Park – Dublin, Ireland ♪ Audio: Audience ♫ *************************************************************** Setlist 1. Sunday Bloody Sunday 4:13 2. New Year’s Day 9:20 3. Bad 15:04 4. Pride (In The Name of Love) 23:28 5. Where The Streets Have No Name 27:35 6. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For 34:17 7. With or Without You 38:39 8. Bullet The Blue Sky 43:54 9. Running To Stand Still 45:51 10 Red Hill Mining Town 54:10 11. In God’s Country 59:37 12 Trip Through Your Wires 1:02:54 13. One Tree Hill 1:10:09 14. Exit 1:16:41 15. Mothers of the Disappeared 1:22:05 16. Miss Sarajevo 1:28:22 17. Beautiful Day 1:34:29 18. Elevation 1:41:32 29. Vertigo 1:44:52 20. Ultraviolet 1:52:00 21. One 1:58:59 22. The Little Things That Give You Away 2:06:35 ***************************************************************







“We Shall Overcome” is the greatest Passover song ever written


Welcome to My Seder


Sedar 2015

My Seder indeed took place last night beginning at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Standard time and 11:30 pm in Pontevedra, Spain

Streaming live video from Pontevedra, Spain jointed by her fiancé  the respectful Javier Blanco had an old-fashioned seder,Amelia had distributed to their dinner guests a Spanish copy of the Hagaddah. My sister Sarah, with whom I have spent a considerable portion of my life celebrating Passover, joined My Seder, explaining her seder experience as guests of Amelia and Javier read from the special book the Hagaddah in Spanish. The word Hagaddah comes from the Hebrew root word that means “to tell.” God commanded us to tell the story of the Exodus from Egypt. There is a psychedelic quality to the seder. The requirement is NOT that we remember freedom from slavery in Egypt.

Rather, the requirement of the SEDER is to relive the experience. No seder fulfills the requirement unless its participants believe then and there (here and there on Skype) that tonight we have become Free.  For me, for my mother, Freedom requires the Seder to relive the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Those were the days when Rabbit Abraham J. Heschel marched arm-in-arm with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as they crossed together–50 years ago last month–Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.


Illuminated Haggadah (14th century)
Illuminated Haggadah (14th century)


The White House press office describes the scene 50 years ago last month

“Fifty years ago, on March 7, 1965, hundreds of people gathered in Selma, Alabama to march to the capital city of Montgomery. They marched to ensure that African-Americans could exercise their constitutional right to vote — even in the face of a segregationist system that wanted to make it impossible.

“On the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, state troopers and county members violently attacked the marchers, leaving many of them injured and bloodied — and some of them unconscious.

“But the marchers didn’t stop. Two days later, Dr. Martin Luther King led roughly 2,500 people back to the Pettus Bridge before turning the marchers around — obeying a court order that prevented them from making the full march.

“The third march started on March 21, with protection from 1,000 military policemen and 2,000 Army troops. Thousands of people joined along the way to Montgomery, with roughly 25,000 people entering the capital on the final leg of the march. On March 25, the marchers made it to the entrance of the Alabama State Capitol building, with a petition for Gov. George Wallace.

“Only a few months later, Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, which President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law on August 6, 1965. The Voting Rights Act was designed to eliminate legal barriers at the state and local level that prevented African-Americans from exercising their right to vote under the 15th Amendment — after nearly a century of unconstitutional discrimination.”


Martin Luther King’s Last Speech: “I’ve Been To The Mountaintop”


Dr. Martin Luther King was shot and killed the day after he delivered this “mountaintop” speech. This is an excerpt from the speech. The entire speech, 45 minutes, was not recorded in video. Rather, the audio complete speech–from You Tube–ends My Seder. Some time when you are in need of spiritual comfort, know that the speech is here below.


“Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement. ….get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal; everything is incredible; never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.”

 — Rabbi Abraham J. Heschel


Alabama State troopers attack civil-rights demonstrators outside Selma, Alabama, on Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965
Alabama State troopers attack civil-rights demonstrators outside Selma, Alabama, on Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965




Rabbi Abraham J. Heschel, Professor of Mystecism and Theology at the Jewish Theological Seminary. marches arm-in-arm with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Selma-Montgomery March

Rabbi Abraham J. Heschel, Professor of Mysticism and Theology at the Jewish Theological Seminary. marches arm-in-arm with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Selma-Montgomery March.




“When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.”

 — Rabbi Abraham J. Heschel




Selma to Montgomery marches

The three Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965 were part of the Voting Rights Movement underway in Selma, Alabama. By highlighting racial injustice in the South, they contributed to passage that year of the Voting Rights Act, a landmark federal achievement of the 1960s American Civil Rights Movement. Activists publicized the three protest marches to walk the 54-mile (87 km) highway from Selma to the Alabama state capital of Montgomery as showing the desire of African-American citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote, in defiance of segregationist repression.


“It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion–its message becomes meaningless.”

 — Rabbi Abraham J. Heschel

Southern state legislatures had passed and maintained a series of discriminatory requirements and practices that had disenfranchised most of the millions of African-Americans across the South since the turn of the century. The African-American group known as The Dallas County Voters League (DCVL) launched a voters registration campaign in Selma in 1963. Joined by organizers from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), they began working that year in a renewed effort to register black voters. Finding resistance by white officials to be intractable, even after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended legal segregation, the DCVL invited Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the activists of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) to join them. SCLC brought many prominent civil rights and civic leaders to Selma in January 1965. Local and regional protests began, with 3,000 people arrested by the end of February.




On February 26, 1965, activist and deacon Jimmie Lee Jackson died after being mortally shot several days earlier by a state trooper during a peaceful march in nearby Marion, Alabama. To diffuse and refocus the community’s outrage, SCLC Director of Direct Action James Bevel, who was directing SCLC’s Selma Voting Rights Movement, called for a march of dramatic length, from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery.[2][3] Bevel had been working on his Alabama Project for voting rights since late 1963.


Mundus vult decipi‘—the world wants to be deceived. To live without deception presupposes standards beyond the reach of most people whose existence is largely shaped by compromise, evasion and mutual accommodation. Could they face their weakness, their vanity and selfishness, without a mask?”

 — Rabbi Abraham J. Heschel

The first march took place on March 7, 1965, organized locally by Bevel, Amelia Boynton, and others. State troopers and county policemen attacked the unarmed marchers with billy clubs and tear gas after they passed over the county line, and the event became known as Bloody Sunday. Law enforcement beat Boynton unconscious, and the media publicized worldwide a picture of her lying wounded on the bridge.

The second march took place March 9. Troopers, police, and marchers confronted each other at the county end of the bridge, but when the troopers stepped aside to let them pass, King led the marchers back to the church. He was obeying a federal injunction while seeking protection from federal court for the march. That night, a white group beat and murdered civil rights activist James Reeb, a Unitarian Universalist minister from Boston, who had come to Selma to march with the second group.  Many other clergy and sympathizers from across the country also gathered for the second march.


Half a century after the marches:

This past Saturday, the First Family traveled to Selma, Alabama to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the marches from Selma to Montgomery.

Learn about the history of the marches. Listen to the stories of those who marched. And tell us how you’ll honor their legacy and #MarchOn.

If you missed the President’s remarks at Saturday’s event, make sure to watch below:



“People of our time are losing the power of celebration. Instead of celebrating we seek to be amused or entertained. Celebration is an active state, an act of expressing reverence or appreciation. To be entertained is a passive state–it is to receive pleasure afforded by an amusing act or a spectacle…. Celebration is a confrontation,giving attention to the transcendent meaning of one’s actions.”

 — Rabbi Abraham J. Heschel

The violence of the “Bloody Sunday” and of Reeb’s death led to a national outcry and some acts of civil disobedience, targeting both the Alabama state and federal governments. The protesters demanded protection for the Selma marchers and a new federal voting rights law to enable African-Americans to register and vote without harassment. President Lyndon Johnson, whose administration had been working on a voting rights law, held a historic, nationally televised joint session of Congress on March 15 to ask for the bill’s introduction and passage.


“I have one talent, and that is the capacity to be tremendously surprised, surprised at life, at ideas. This is to me the supreme Hasidic imperative: Don’t be old. Don’t be stale.”

— Rabbi Abraham J. Heschel

With Governor Wallace refusing to protect the marchers, President Johnson committed to do so. The third march started March 21. Protected by 2,000 soldiers of the U.S. Army, 1,900 members of the Alabama National Guard under Federal command, and many FBI agents and Federal Marshals, the marchers averaged 10 miles (16 km) a day along U.S. Route 80, known in Alabama as the “Jefferson Davis Highway”. The marchers arrived in Montgomery on March 24 and at the Alabama State Capitol on March 25. With thousands having joined the campaign, 25,000 people entered the capital city that day in support of voting rights.

The route is memorialized as the “Selma To Montgomery Voting Rights Trail,” and is designated as a U.S. National Historic Trail.




Lyrics to “We Shall Overcome”

We shall overcome

We shall overcome, some day

Oh, deep in my heart
I do believe
We shall overcome, some day

We’ll walk hand in hand
We’ll walk hand in hand
We’ll walk hand in hand, some day

Oh, deep in my heart
I do believe
We shall overcome, some day

We shall live in peace
We shall live in peace
We shall live in peace, some day

Oh, deep in my heart
I do believe
We shall overcome, some day

We shall all be free
We shall all be free
We shall all be free, some day

Oh, deep in my heart
I do believe
We shall overcome, some day

We are not afraid
We are not afraid
We are not afraid, TODAY

Oh, deep in my heart
I do believe
We shall overcome, some day

We shall overcome
We shall overcome
We shall overcome, some day

Oh, deep in my heart
I do believe
We shall overcome, some day

Written by: Arthur Hamilton,  Zilphia Horton,  and Pete Seeger


 Diana Ross


Mahalia Jackson


President Lyndon Johnson says the words: “We shall overcome.”


“Never once in my life did I ask God for success or wisdom or power or fame. I asked for wonder, and he gave it to me.”
― Abraham Joshua Heschel
The most fitting conclusion to this celebration of the Passover Seder is to listen to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s last speech in its 43 minute entirety.
 Good night and good luck,

My Seder copyright © 2015 by Joel Solkoff. All rights reserved.


Copyright Kathy Forer 2015. All rights reserved.

Copyright © Kathy Forer 2015. All rights reserved.  

Channeling Jabotinsky [who died in 1940]: Covering the aftermath of Israel’s March 17th [2015] election

Coalition Updates posted religiously (always check the source for reliability):

Netanyahu endorsed by 61 MKs, set to assemble coalition
As President Reuven Rivlin enters second day of consultations with party representatives, Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon recommends Netanyahu as PM • “We accept the people’s decision. The people want Netanyahu to assemble the government,” Kahlon says. Posted March 23, 2015. N.B. Israel Hayom is published by Sheldon Adelson.  “As of July 2014, Adelson was listed by Forbes as having a fortune of $36.4 billion, and as the 8th richest person in the world. Adelson is also a major contributor to Republican Party candidates, which has resulted in his gaining significant influence within the party.”


President Obama’s post-Israeli elections game-changing interview (1)

“Obama Details His Disappointment With Netanyahu,” the Huffington Post wrote in describing  Obama’s  first interview after the Israeli elections.

This link takes you directly to President Obama’s video interview.

330px-Arianna_Huffington_2012_ShankboneForbes Magazine listed Arianna Huffington as the 52nd most powerful woman in the worldAOL acquired The Huffington Post for$315 million and  appointed Huffington President and Editor-in-Chief.

Huffington reported:

“President Barack Obama is operating under the assumption that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not support the creation of a Palestinian state, despite the Israeli leader’s post-election efforts to recast himself as amenable to a two-state solution.

“‘We take him at his word when he said that it wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership, and so that’s why we’ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don’t see a chaotic situation in the region,” the president said in an interview with The Huffington Post on Friday [March 20th].” (2)


How does the phrase “game changing” apply to this situation?

Macmillan Dictionary defines “game changing” as “completely changing the way that something is done, thought about, or made.” President Obama’s Friday interview made public his determination to completely change the nature of U.S. -Israeli-relations.

Doing so will have widespread implications. It is no exageration to say that what is at stake is whether Israel will be able to survive as an independent Jewish-controlled country. Period.

Given the nature of the Israeli parliamentary system it is unclear whether the March 2015 election will be significant. The purpose of this posting is to provide a comprehensive understanding not simply of one election and its results. ed himself into the Israeli election deliberatively trying to prevent  Benjamin Netanyahu from receiving the minimum of 61 votes in the Knesset required if Netanyahu continues to govern.

The U.S. provides Israel with three billion dollars annually for military and economic assistance.


1948 Behind the scenes friction within the Truman Administration regarding recognizing Israel


You can go directly to You Tube to view this rare footage of the Secretary of State George Marshall conferring with President Truman in 1948 regarding recognizing the State of Israel. Truman was eager to recognize, which he did. Marshall told Truman that if he recognized Israel, Marshall would not vote for Truman in the 1948 Presidential election. 

Zionist time line critical for obtaining a bird’s eye perspective to current events

  1. The Balfour declaration {2 November 1917}. / From the time I was eight, my father read out loud to me the Balfour Declaration (which was a letter). My friends’ fathers played catch—tossing the regulation softball back and forth. I read the Balfour Declaration aloud with my father. Reading the Balfour Declaration was a joyous experience because my father cared deeply about it and I loved my father.
  2. Significance of the Zion Mule Corps
  3. Profile of Ben Gurion
  4. Profile of Jabotinsky
  5. Arab riots in the 1920s
  6. Ben Gurion’s cooperation with the British to arrest or shoot to kill Menachem Begin, who later became prime minister of Israel
  7. 1948 War of Independence
  8. Altalena Incident
  9. 1967 Six Day War


Camp David accords

  1. Begin forcibly removes Jewish settlers in accordance with Israeli-Egyptian negotiation terms
  2. Assassination of Prime Minister Yizhak Rabin
  3. Netanyahu hosting a televised explicit video showing him committing adultery
  4. Demographic breakdown of Israeli citizens
  5. Maps of Israel including King David’s borders, Jabotinsky’s


,רק כּח

1948-1967, and 1967 to present


 Imagine my coming across a  letter in my late father’s files from Thomas Jefferson expressing gratitude for assistance in the American Revolution. This 1935 letter is the moral equivalent



Consider the obituary I wrote when my father Isadore Solkoff died

Obituary notice

ISADORE SOLKOFF, 1902-1989, Friend of Jabotinsky, Briscoe, and other early Zionist leaders




My father's obituary continues:

UNION, NEW JERSEY, January 15, 1989: Isadore Solkoff was buried at the Temple B’nai Abraham Cemetery.

In an Orthodox Jewish service officiated by Rabbi Phillip Goldberg of the United Hebrew Community of New York, the mourners were reminded of Solkoff ‘s work in introducing Vladimir Jabotinsky and Robert Briscoe to the Jewish Community of New York City.

Theodore Hertzl founder of The Zionist Movement

Theodor Herzl, founder of the Zionist Movement which created Israel ://
My father's obituary continues:

“Vladimir Jabotinksy (1880-1940)   was an early Zionist leader who is buried in Jerusalem next to the grave of Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism.

“Jabotinsky was an extremely controversial figure. He was also a brilliant orator, capable of delivering his speeches in several languages, including English and Hebrew, which as an adult he learned to speak fluently because he believed that every Zionist should speak Hebrew.

“Although he died  in 1940, he predicted the Holocaust, advocating relief measures so Jews could be sent to Palestine . He also advocated strict military training for Jews and a series of summer camps for youth around the world were opened for that purpose. One of those camps was located in suburban New York.”

At the cemetery , in keeping with Jewish custom, I picked up a handful of dirt and threw it on my father’s casket. My elder daughter Joanna, who was five years old asked whether she could follow my example. I held her while she grabbed a handful from a pile nearby and threw it on the casket.

We returned from the cemetery to the home of my Uncle Lou, who had died eight years earlier. Uncle Lou , while the youngest of the siblings, had held the family together with the help of his wife Aunt Ida.

By the time I was born, my father was in a state of grief. For decades he had followed his beloved leader Jabotinsky in their attempts to warn of the coming Holocaust. Others did not believe the Holocaust was coming. My father believed. He spent much of his adult life working to avert the disaster he could not stop.

When I was born, he included me in the mourning. When Isadore died, I was 37 years old and had become a follower of Jabotinsky in the tradition my father taught me. I had found among his papers which were my papers an advertisement Ben Hecht published on February 16, 1943.  The ad, which appeared on the back cover of first section of The New York Times, read:

70,000 JEWS

Aunt Ida gave me a shot glass with schnapps. I said the appropriate blessing. Family and friends filled up their glasses, raised them high and said the blessing.

Then, I delivered a eulogy to my father. My eulogy consisted of my reading:

““Roumania is tired of killing Jews. It has killed one hundred thousand of them in two years. Roumania will now give Jews away practically for nothing.”

[See: See:}



J’accuse, Netanyahu. J’accuse

Boiled down to basics, Netanyahu is the leader of the political party Jabotinsky founded. When Jabotinsky died in 1940, Menachem Begin took over the leadership. A political gemological chart will chart the leadership to Netanyahu.

Netanyahu has failed to keep to the true Zionist path Jabotinsky founded. The party Netanyahu now leads should expel him from its midst. This posting is written from the perspective of a 67 year old man whose father taught him Jabotinsky from childhood.

Israel has reached the proverbial crossroads. Sometime soon, the future of Israel is arriving  at the point where either Israel will survive or it will be too late. Elections come and go. It is difficult to predict precisely when the point of no return arrives.

This posting, clearly a work in progress, provides details on the issues. Perhaps, Tzipi Livni (see below), whose ties to the movement Jabotinsky followed, could form a government this time around. Livni has the potential to be a great prime minister.

Whatever Israel’s future brings, Netanyahu should be ousted from public service. It should not be Obama who throws him out. It should be Netanyahu’s own party. Fortune smiled on the Zionist Movement when Jabotinsky was a Zionist leader in truly troubled times. Now the inspiration Jabotinsky still provides should be incorporated in new leadership.

So long, Bibi. Coming soon after I get some sleep,  reports on the status of the coalition building process. Clearly, I could produce a lot of words on the subject, but nothing much is actually happening.


The Altalena Affair


The Altalena Affair was a violent confrontation that took place in June 1948 between the newly created Israel Defense Forces and the Irgun (also known as IZL), one of the Jewish paramilitary groups that were in the process of merging to form the IDF. The confrontation involved a cargo ship, Altalena, captained by Monroe Fein and led by senior IZL commander Eliyahu Lankin, which had been loaded with weapons and fighters by the independent Irgun but arrived during the murky period of the Irgun’s absorption into the IDF.

This silent video tells the story of the “Altalena Incident”–the classification term for the event



Solkoff arranged for Jabotinsky to speak to a packed crowd at Town Hall in New York City and Solkoff produced a film of Jabotinsky observing military exercises of Jewish youth, later shown at Jewish synagogues in the New York City area.

Solkoff arranged a secret, private meeting between Jabotinsky and Lou is Brandeis (1856-1941) then a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Brandeis took pride in his influential role in the American Jewish community. The meeting did not go well. It took place at Brandeis’ Washington home. Jabotinsky gave Brandeis a warning about the American Jewish community’s ind ifference to the plight of Jewish European refugees. Later Jabotinsky reported to Solkoff the warning he gave Brandeis . “Your accomodationist stance with the British will result in millions of unnecessary Jewish deaths at the hands of the Nazis. ” Jabotinsky continued, “The blood of those Jews will be on your hands too and that of the rest of the American Jewish community. It will be on your hands even though you do not directly commit the murders .”

Jabotinsky was the founder of the Zionist political party now running the state of Israel. Yitzhak Shamir, the prime minister of Israel, was a follower of Jabotinsky. Former Israeli prime minister Menachim Begin had been an aide to Jabot insky. When Jabotinsky d ied in 1940, Begin inherited Jabotinsky’s movement. Solkoff supported Begin in his efforts to obtain arms into Palestine . Then in 1948 when the state of Israel was created and the War of Independence took place,

Who won the Israeli election?

No one won.

Isaac_Herzog_(12675983573) (2)

Did Isaac Herzog Leader,  Zionist Union Party really lose when he received 24 votes?


Did Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Leader of the LIKUD party really win when he received 30 votes?


The complexities of coalition building where a majority of 61 votes in the 120 vote Kennest is required to govern.

However, if the next candidate (the current presumed winner is Netanyahu) becomes prime minister with only 61 votes, the government will be a weak one.

All that would be required to pass a resolution expressing no confidence in the next prime minister then Israel would be back in the position it is today.

There would be another election with election results reported again just as they were  two days ago. Again there would be a frantic rush to find parties winning to be in coalition. At some point, one hopes because Israel requires stability as critical decisions are made which will determine ultimately whether can survive as an independent Jewish country,

Whatever happens in Israel’s Balkan-style politics, the real issue on the table is whether the country of Israel will continue to exist.

This posting is now evolving and will contain the following information:

  • Details about the process of securing a coalition
  • Description of each of the minor parties that are being wooed right now as I keyboard today’s post
  • Relevant history helpful in analyzing Israel’s political direction from the philosopher George Santayana’s perspective: One who neglects to learn the lessons of  history will be forced to repeat them. 
  • Relevant history will begin with the Dreyfus trial when anti-Semitism had taken over the government of France, Theodore Herzel’s formation of the Zionist, Movement, revival of the Hebrew language, the outcome of World War I where British victory meant the Britain would replace Turkey and turn Israel (at the time Palestine and not Israel was the name used for the land the British controlled), plus detailed descriptions of the many different maps of Israel from the Biblical Israel under King David when its territory was the largest ever including Jordan and Syria. Included would be the  map of a significantly smaller Israel in 1948 when the country became independent.
  • I will be comparing the 1948 Independence Day map with today’s map which includes land occupied as a result of the Six Day War of 1967.
  • In depth analysis of the relevance of the two fathers of modern Israel, David Ben Gurion and Vladimir Jabotinsky. The two men  served jointly as co-captains of the Zionist Mule Corps. Creation of the Corps was a significant event by itself. The distinct differences between the politics of each  founding father also brought decades of animosity between the two men.  Ben Gurion helped the British  in its efforts to arrest or shoot to kill on sight the leader of Jabotinsky’s party.


Meawhile, I will speculate on the chances of a “dark horse” female party leader emerging as the next prime minister.

A narrow 61 votes majority means any two members of the Knesset could become emotional about controversial policy. Israeli politics are my favorite brand of politics, far more intricate with cliff hangers appearing regularly and lasting indefinitely or just long enough to form another cliff hanger.

Could Tzipi Livni emerge (from weeks of coalition building failure) as Israel’s next Prime Minister or as prime minister in a government which follows the next vote of No Confidence?]

Tzipi Livni is the Previous Leader,  Zionist Union Party. From March 2013 to December 2014, Livni served as Israel’s Justice Minister.


Meanwhile, bitter fighting in Washington D.C. over whether Republicans or Israel loving  Democrats becomes more bizarre each passing day.

Plus, fighting among President Obama, Republican Congressional leaders, and Israel-loving Democrats are distracting. There are serious issues raised by this critical junction in Israel’s political crisis–critical issues such as whether can preserve its future as an independent self-governing country as the homeland of the Jewish people.

What is at stake here is whether Israel can continue to survive as an independent Jewish state.

If this election process goes south or if the coalition is so shaky it receives an early no confidence vote clarity…

What is taking place is a clear power struggle. .I find it unsettling Netanyahu may continue to rule.

I condemn Netanyahu’s passionate insistence the U.S. should not negotiate with Iran to find a solution to the nuclear missile crisis. Going from the specific to the general, I believe Bibi is a war monger.

 What is required to WIN?

Definition of win: Win means the candidate becomes Prime Minister. To become prime minister one must have at least a 61 vote majority in the 120 member Knesset.

Netanyahu has 30 votes.

To obtain the additional 31 votes candidates must ask leaders of Israeli’s insanely high number of political parties.

Leaders of some of the parties Netanyahu needed to govern are real slime bags.

Netanyahu has a history of tolerating virtually anything to win including having to work with slime bags on a regular basis. Speculation is that Netanyahu may take “the high road” and ask his opponent Herzog to become a member of his government.

Short term: There is currently and urgently taking place a hunt for Israeli’s minority parties to form a coalition government. These parties are referred to as “king makers.” Courting these parties is not an easy task. “It ain’t over until it’s over.”

Long term: Beyond the vote counting and the news reports on just how complex Israel’s democratic government really is, there is a critical issue regarding Israel’s future.

Theodor Herzl founder of The Zionist Movement

Will Israel as a Jewish state continue to survive?

Netanyahu’s answer is hard-line especially regarding territory. Netanyahu has successfully fought efforts to return land won during the 1967 Six Day War.

A large group in the significant but  becoming less powerful sector of the electorate is secular Jews.


Israel was created despite opposition from the Orthodox community.

Until 1948 creation of Israel, a large percentage of the orthodox community did not believe in Theodor Hertzel’s Zionist Movement to create a secular Jewish State under British-controlled until 1948.

Orthodox rabbis said Zionism was blasphemy and creation of a Jewish State should await return of the Messiah and the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Especially since the 1973 War, the U.S.Orthodox community has become strong supporters of Israel. The are sending themselves, their children, and their grandchildren to defend Israeli territory with machine guns carried on a daily basis.

Given the large birthrate among the religious, the demographic makeup of Israel is changing.

Simply put: There are three equally large blocks of voters who determine Israel’s future:

  • One third Israeli citizens are Arab.
  • One third of Israeli citizens are militantly religious.
  • One third of Israeli citizens are secular and laid back about religious practice and who created and built the State of Israel. They have already lost the power to govern Israel.

The future of Israel as an independent state requires a peaceful solution to the terror, bus bombs, hard-line Palestinians who pose a serious threat.

Last night, Netanyahu announced he opposed a two state solution, namely creation of a Palestinian State on some of the land Israel currently occupies.

I support a two state solution. It is not simply Israel’s fault the Palestinian crisis exists. Arab states such as Saudia Arabia, where Palestinian workers are poorly treated, have used the Palestinian problem to obtain global sympathy for the Palestinian Cause.

Whoever is to blame, if Israel does not fix the problem, it will not exist. Peace is the only way Israel can survive. Talking about peace in the context of the violence currently taking place, including building of nuclear facilities in Iran, seems naive.

Nevertheless, there are a substantial number of Israeli citizens who are working intensely to give peace a chance. I believe peace is the only option available to secure Israel’s future. This blog is written with my  distinct bias. Bias of mine.


From Israeli’s oldest and highly respected newspaper Haeretz, which means “the land,” comes this ebulient prediction:

LIVE BLOG: Herzog congratulates Netanyahu, refuses to say whether he’ll join coalition

Final results: Netanyahu’s Likud scores decisive victory in Israeli election, set to win 30 Knesset seats, Zionist Union gets 24 • Netanyahu calls for ‘strong’ government to safeguard security, welfare • Meretz leader Zehava Galon resigns in wake of election results.

By | Mar. 18, 2015 | 11:15 AM |


From this morning’s White House briefing on President Barack Obama’s reaction to the Israeli elections,  the White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest en route to Cleveland, OH, 3/18/15 aboard Air Force One  answered the following:

Did the President speak with Prime Minister Netanyahu after the election?


“The President at this point has not telephoned Prime Minister Netanyahu.  I can tell you that earlier today that Secretary of State John Kerry did telephone Prime Minister Netanyahu to congratulate him on the Israeli elections.  The President, in the days ahead, in the coming days, I anticipate will also call Prime Minister Netanyahu to do the same thing.

“Just as a relevant piece of recent historical context is that there have been two Israeli elections during the Obama administration.  In both situations, in the aftermath of both elections, the President did not telephone Prime Minister Netanyahu until he’d already been directed by the Israeli President to begin the process of forming a coalition government.

“So I’m not suggesting that the President will wait until that direction has been handed down this time.  I’m merely pointing out that in previous situations the President has not telephoned the Israeli Prime Minister on the day after the elections.  But I do anticipate that the President will call Prime Minister Netanyahu in the coming days.”


Meanwhile, Republican U.S. Senators are criticizing President Obama for not calling Nitanyahu for winning the election.  Powerful Republican senators, such as Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), frequently mentioned as a likely candidate for winning the Republican nominationin2016, told Roll Call, a publication read by Washington insiders,

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is joining a slew of Republican lawmakers who criticized President Obama for not congratulating Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on his party’s victory in this week’s parliamentary elections.

“He’s showing more respect for Iran than he is for the prime minister of Israel, and that’s a terrible precedent that he’s set,” Rubio said late Wednesday on Fox News’s “Hannity,” while also slamming the White House’s negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.



Isaac Herzog, who received a few votes less than Netanyahu) is defiant.

Each candidate is now actively scrambling to assemble a collation from Israel’s many fractious and influential minor parties.

English: The Knesset building, Jerusalem, Israel, on Independence Day. Taken from the south, from The Israel Museum. עברית: הכנסת Date24 April 2007

The Knesset building, Jerusalem, Israel, on Independence Day. Taken from the south, from The Israel Museum.
עברית: הכנסת
Date 24 April 2007


Isaac Herzog Leader of the newly formed Zionist Union Party

Wikipedia on Issac Herzog:

Isaac Herzog (Hebrew: יצחק “בוז׳י” הרצוג‎).

Yitzhak Herzog; born 22 September 1960, nicknamed “Bougie”, is an Israeli politician and lawyer.

Since 2003, Herzog has been a member of the Knesset and has held various ministerial posts, including Minister of Welfare and Social Services (2007–11).

He is chairman of the Labor Party and has been the opposition leader in the outgoing 19th Knesset. He contested the 2015 legislative election as head of the Zionist Union joint electoral list of Labour and Hatnuah.


My conclusion:

Neither of the two leaders has the 61 votes required to form a government.

One tally showed  28 seats for Netanyahu, over 27 seats for Isaac Herzog.

To be Prime Minister you have to have a secure 61 vote majority in the 120 seat parliament known by its Hebrew word The Knesset.

28 votes is not 61 votes.

Right now, the choice over whether Netanyahu or Herzog will be Prime Minister depends on the ability of either man to form a coalition.


About Me

I shoveled manure during the Six Day War

It was 1967.

I was 19.

I had just arrived in Paris en route to Israel early on a Tuesday morning  Day 2 Six Day War.

My step father had connected me with the Paris Jewish Agency,  mobbed with volunteers.

My father, an ardent Zionist especially during the 1930s and 40s, hated the Jewish Agency because it had collaborated with the British to keep Jews out of Palestine.

At the Agency, I was told it would be a long war. I should be patient and wait in Paris. I booked a cheap hotel. Bought every English language newspaper I could find.

My experience with British-based newspapers was limited. An item said someone was forming a Lincoln brigade, similar to the Spanish Civil War, in Cyprus. I booked a ticket to Cyprus for the following day Wednesday.

Unable to sleep, I walked through the city of Paris from 10 PM until after dawn. I said Bon Jour to everyone I passed and everyone replied friendly happy at what they were doing.

By morning, well-breakfasted, I had the feeling I had seen everything. I boarded the plane Wednesday morning flying down the coast of Italy and over to Athens.

The plane circled the Parthenon several times. So clear was the water I could see fishing lines down to the bottom of the Mediterranean.

The plane landed in Athens where I awaited a connection to Cyprus.

It was Wednesday evening.

At the airline desk, I learned there was a flight scheduled to Lodde airport later that evening.

By then, I had made friends with a graduate student and his wife who told me in detail about the Greek coup.

When I left the Paris-Athens plane, I was holding a notebook with the word Columbia on the cover. The graduate student, hoping to meet someone else, instantly identified my college with his and he and his wife helped me with arrangements.

The airline clerk cashed in the Cyprus ticket. As it would turn out, there was no Lincoln Brigade in Cyprus.

For a few dollars more I was waitlisted on a plane to Israel. I had $20 left in my pocket.

My new friends took me to their apartment where I slept until the phone rang informing that I had a seat on the plane.

Saul Bellow, covering the War for Newsday, stood next to me and we talked. A glamorous Life photographer also boarded the plane. He was replacing a colleague killed in the Sinai when his half track hit a land mine.

The windows on the plane were sealed shut just before daylight. My fellow passengers and I heard the sound of aircraft, but did not know whether they were friendly or not.

Ours was the first commercial plane to land at the airport. The runway was full of army tents and mounted guns.

We were greeted like heroes. It was day four of the Six Day War.



 Kfar Warburg

Wikipedia on Kfar Warburg:

Kfar Warburg (Hebrew: כְּפַר וַרְבּוּרְג, lit. Warburg Village) is a large moshav in central Israel. Located near Kiryat Malakhi with 98 farms covering an area of 6,000 dunams, it falls under the jurisdiction of Be’er Tuvia Regional Council. In 2006 it had a population of 873.

The moshav was founded on 31 October 1939 by members of the “Menachem” organisation. It was named after Felix M. Warburg, one of the leaders of the Jewish community in the United States and a founder of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.[1]

Notable residents include Yigal Hurvitz, a former Minister of Finance who is buried in the moshav.

During Netanyahu’s lengthy time in office, Netanyahu maintained power with a coalition of small political parties . Some of these parties, especially their leaders, are slimy. Netanyahu has been able to stay so long in office because of his willingness to make allegiances with very unsavory characters.


Prime Minister Netanyahu


Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu ( בנימין “ביבי” נתניהו ); born 21 October 1949) is the current Prime Minister of Israel.

He also currently serves as a member of the Knesset, Chairman of the Likud party and Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs.

Born in Tel Aviv to secular Jewish parents, Netanyahu is the first Israeli prime minister born in Israel after the establishment of the state.

Netanyahu joined the Israel Defense Forces during the Six-Day War in 1967 and became a team leader in the Sayeret Matkal special forces unit. He took part in many missions, including Operation Inferno (1968), Operation Gift (1968) and Operation Isotope (1972), during which he was shot in the shoulder.

He fought on the front lines in the War of Attrition and the Yom Kippur War in 1973, taking part in special forces raids along the Suez Canal, and then leading a commando assault deep into Syrian territory.

He was wounded in combat twice. He achieved the rank of captain before being discharged. Netanyahu served as the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations from 1984 to 1988, as a member of the Likud party, and was Prime Minister from June 1996 to July 1999. He moved from the political arena to the private sector after being defeated in the 1999 election for Prime Minister by Ehud Barak.

Netanyahu returned to politics in 2002 as Foreign Affairs Minister (2002–2003) and Finance Minister (2003–2005) in Ariel Sharon’s governments, but he departed the government over disagreements regarding the Gaza disengagement plan. He retook the Likud leadership in December 2005, after Sharon left to form a new party, Kadima.

In the 2006 election, Likud did poorly, winning 12 seats. In December 2006, Netanyahu became the official Leader of the Opposition in the Knesset and Chairman of Likud. In 2007, he retained the Likud leadership by beating Moshe Feiglin in party elections.

Following the 2009 parliamentary election, in which Likud placed second and right-wing parties won a majority, Netanyahu formed a coalition government. After the victory in the 2013 elections, he became the second person to be elected to the position of Prime Minister for a third term, after Israel’s founder David Ben-Gurion.

In 2012, Netanyahu was listed 23rd on the Forbes magazine’s list of “The World’s Most Powerful People.” In 2014, he was ranked third on the list of the “Most Influential Jews in the World” by The Jerusalem Post. He had been ranked first on the list in 2012 and 2010.


 More of my election results analysis

Right now, Netanyahu is thinking of a High Road coalition which would include his opponent Herzog in Netanyahu’s Government. This would bring such a coalition would come close to obtaining the remaining Knesset votes.

My current thinking about Netanyahu’s likelihood to survive as prime  minister is that he won’t. He has always been the kind of wily guy who would do anything to stay in power. During one particularly ugly leadership fight, Netanyahu’s opponent blackmailed Netanyahu.

The opponent had an explicit video of Netanyahu having sexual intercourse with a woman not his wife.

“Adultery” became a trendy word during that period.

Netanyahu reacted by appearing on television and displaying the video of his adultery while Netanyahu’s wife was photographed watching .

Netanyahu said he cared too much about Israel’s future to be blackmailed.

Netanyahu won the leadership fight. He will do anything to win.

“Fifteen years ago, Benjamin Netanyahu admitted in a dramatic television appearance to an extramarital affair. It was at the height of elections for the Likud leadership, and Netanyahu accused his opponents (alluding to David Levy) of intent to blackmail him by releasing footage of him and his lover. This strange spectacle became a fiasco that haunts the Likud leader to this day.”


Media Coverage

From Tuesday’s New York Times at 11:04 PM in State College PA–the same time as New York City: 

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his chief challenger, Isaac Herzog of the center-left Zionist Union, appeared to win about the same number of seats in Parliament on Tuesday, according to Israeli news media and exit polls.”

In Jerusalem  It was 6 hours ahead of New York, it was already tomorrow.

Tomorrow at 5:10 AM .


(CNN)Preliminary exit poll estimates released by Israel’s three major broadcasters late Tuesday show an election too close to call.

Millions of Israelis cast their votes to determine their country’s next Prime Minister and the makeup of its parliament.

Channel 2 Israel reports the Likud party, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has a slight lead over the Zionist Union, led by Isaac Herzog — 28 seats, over 27 seats. Channels 10 and 1 show the two tied with 27 seats each.

The incumbent claimed victory ahead of a final count.

“Against all odds, we achieved this huge victory,” Netanyahu told his cheering supporters. “Now we should form a strong and stable government that will be able to take care of the security, safety and welfare of each and every citizen of Israel.”

The Zionist Union responded by saying in a statement that the Likud party “keeps misleading.”

“The rightist bloc has shrunk. Everything is possible until the real results are in, when we can know which parties passed the electoral threshold and which government we can form. All the spins and statements are premature,” it read.

Official results are not expected to be published until next week, and the process of building coalitions could take much longer.


litical parties of the 120 remembers of The Knesset

Due to the low election threshold (currently 3.25%, but historically only 1%), a typical Knesset has a large number of factions represented;

  • five parties have at least 10 seats in the current Knesset.
  • Combined with the nationwide party-list system, it is all but impossible for one party to win a majority government.
  • No party has ever won a majority of seats in an election, the most being 56 won by the Alignment in the 1969 elections.
  • The Alignment had briefly held a majority of seats before the election after being formed by an alliance of two other parties.
  • As a result, all Israeli governments have been coalitions between two or more parties, though only three parties (or their antecedents) have ever led governments.

Parties with Knesset seats

The following parties are represented following the 2013 elections:

Party      Leader   Seats     Ideology

Likud      Binyamin Netanyahu       20           right-wing, nationalist

Yesh Atid             Yair Lapid            19           centrist, secular

Labor Party         Isaac Herzog       15           social democratic, Zionist

The Jewish Home             Naftali Bennett  12           right-wing, Orthodox, settler rights

Shas       Aryeh Deri           11           Sephardic Ultra-Orthodox

Yisrael Beiteinu  Avigdor Lieberman           11           right-wing, Zionist,[1] nationalist[2]

United Torah Judaism      Yaakov Litzman  7             Ashkenazi[2] ultra-Orthodox[1]

Hatnuah               Tzipi Livni             6             centrist[1]

Meretz  Zahava Gal-On   6             secular, left-wing,[1][2] environmentalist,[1]

advocates withdrawal from the West Bank[1]

United Arab List-Ta’al      Ibrahim Sarsur    4             Arab interests[1]

Hadash  Mohammad Barakeh       4             socialist, minority interests[1]

Balad     Jamal Zahalka     3             left-wing, Arab nationalist[1]

Kadima  Shaul Mofaz        2             centrist, Zionist[1]



Netanyahu’s party set to win 29 votes, Zionist Union gets 24; Netanyahu calls for ‘strong’ government to safeguard security, welfare • ‘Kingmaker’ Kahlon says doesn’t rule anyone out.Add Media


TO Uunderstand Israeli politics, you must know about the TWO Founding fathers of Israel David Ben Gurion and Vlademir Jabotinsky who served together in the Zion Mule Corps during World War I. They hated each other. My father’s single most important achievement in my father’s life was his relationship with Jabotinsky. My younger daughter is named after Jabotinsky in memory of my father.

David Ben Gurion the most famous of Israel’s two political fathers.



Interview with former Israel Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion with Edward R. Murrow completed on Feb 3, 1956 at Sde Boker kibbutz as part of Murrow’s ‘I Can Hear It Now’ series.

All audio was taken from the Columbia Masterworks Label ML 5109, that featured the complete unabridged interview on the release. An edited version of the interview with Ben-Gurion appeared on CBS TV’s ‘See It Now’ on March 6, 1956.

This interview clearly had audio issues, and wind interference is noticeable. All attempts to remove vinyl crackles, and audio enhancement have been made to the recording.




  1. 1  The Huffington Post [“Posted: Updated: before lengthy background necessary for understating the issues involved:
  2. a